Man Charged in Aitkin Girl’s Hit-and-Run Death
Steven Lee Meier is facing two counts of felony criminal vehicular homicide charges in the death of Caylin Donovan of Lake Park. The girl was struck and killed just before 8 p.m. on June 10 while walking on Highway 18 near Mille Lacs Lake.
A criminal complaint details search warrants were executed on Meier’s Jeep, boat and trailer. Evidence showed obvious wiping and scrubbing on the passenger side of the trailer. Blood samples collected from the wheel well of the trailer matched the DNA of the 10-year-old girl.
The complaint also states they matched a photograph of the tire on Meier’s boat trailer with one taken of a tire mark on the victim’s thigh, and found they closely matched.
On June 10, the main witness heard a loud bang and the truck accelerating. The witness also saw a white pickup pulling a fifth wheel camper also accelerating quickly. The witness thought the two vehicles may have been traveling together and that the second driver may have witnessed the accident.
Within the next few days, authorities have gathered information via security video footage at a nearby Junction Gas Station and spoke to several witnesses.
When investigators went to the couple’s residence in Hastings to present their evidence and re-interview them, Meier denied seeing anyone on the side of Highway 18, but his girlfriend told them she thought she saw a deer on the side of the road, then realized it was the body of a female and swerved to avoid it. She told detectives she felt guilty for lying to authorities at the campground and horrible for not stopping at the scene.
Meier was arrested at his workplace on June 20. He is facing a possible 10-year prison sentence on each charges.